Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A Solitary Sunday Morning.


A solitary Sunday morning with me looks a lot like staying in bed for almost an hour after waking up. Stuffed like a happy sausage under our fluffy white comforter and hanging twinkly lights, I’m in no real rush to begin “real life” as I don’t have any real place to be. No work, no class, no plans – I know that I am free to sloth, and if I choose to relish in that fact until 10:30 a.m., so be it.

Ryan takes the dogs out, dresses up in his quirky golf attire (striped polo and a backwards hat), and kisses me goodbye. He locks the door behind him, and I think long and hard about all of the productive, creative things I could do…as I continue to sloth.

A solitary Sunday morning with me looks a lot like brewing coffee. Not to drink, but because it makes our 815 square feet smell so damn good. I consider pouring myself a cup, and then remember we don’t have any creamer. While I commend Ryan for being able to throw back his coffee black and sugarless, I am simply not about that life. Thus, I boil some water in the teakettle while making a four egg-spinach scramble.

I flip on Spotify and play a little Norah Jones. I’ve never intentionally listened to Norah Jones a day in my life, but it felt girly and peaceful. I pour my hot tea into a fancy tea cup set, and drown my eggs in Cholula hot sauce while continuing to plan out my blank slate.

A solitary Sunday morning with me looks a lot like reading Me Before You on the couch while debating whether or not to head down to the pool for the second day in a row. I change in and out of my swimsuit three times before finally walking outside to a dark, stormy sky in the distance. Negative. I need to study for neuroanatomy anyway…the joys of summer classes.

At the risk of excessive slothing, I dress myself up in a pair of jeans (despite the 94 degree read on the thermostat) and a blush pink top with a fancy necklace. I pack up my laptop, and I take myself on a fancy study date to Oxford Exchange, complete with a giant chai tea latte and a real grasp on astrocytes.

A solitary Sunday morning with me doesn’t happen very often. I love spending time with my boyfriend, my friends, and my family; I love making plans and creating memories. But there is certainly something to be said about taking some time for yourself, and simply to see where the day takes you. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Asheville 2016 | Hiking + Waterfalls.

A huge reason why I wanted to vacation in North Carolina was to satisfy my recent craving to hike. Florida is severely lacking in the mountain department, so we both wanted a change of pace. A big to-do for me was to see waterfalls, and DuPont State Forest did not disappoint. We found the perfect waterfall drive (we used option #1!) and got to driving/hiking. 

High Falls was by far the most majestic waterfall I've ever seen in real life. The Hunger Games was actually filmed entirely in North Carolina, and Triple Falls was used to shoot multiple scenes. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my bow and arrow, but I still tried to channel my inner Katniss Everdeen! We finally had a chance to sit down and relax at our final stop: Hooker Falls. Neither of us brought our swim suits, but a few families unpacked their picnic lunches and went for a swim in the [ice cold!] water. 

I believe our hiked totaled just under six miles of walking, and took just over two hours. From there, we drove out of DuPont and made our way to Pisgah National Forest, where the famous Sliding Rock resides. It wasn't nearly hot enough outside to subject ourselves to the frigid water at the end of the rock, but a part of me wish I'd done it anyway! 

We finished our day driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was breathtakingly beautiful, and if we're being honest, terrifying. I could hardly make myself look out the window in fear of Ryan driving us off a cliff to our ultimate death. But those views (and the tunnels we got to drive through!) made it all worth it.

If you're planning on making this hike my advice to you: comfortable shoes, multiple bottles of water, and plenty of snacks. We managed to survive off a small bag of trail mix, but I envied the well seasoned hikers carrying legitimate backpacks and picnics. 

It's safe to say this was my favorite day of our trip! I made sure to snap a few photos with my Nikon. Enjoy!

High Falls:

  






Triple Falls:












Hooker Falls:




Sliding Rock (Pisgah National Forest): 




Blue Ridge Parkway:









Friday, May 20, 2016

100 Things I Love.



Believe it or not, I wrote this entire list using a pen and paper prior to actually typing it all up. I left my phone in another room and I completely did away with all "outside noise." I didn't want to think too hard about this list, as I wanted it to be authentic and "off the top of my head." Half of these sound pretty vapid, but hey, not everything needs to have some deep, inspiring meaning, right? I think it's okay to let yourself be a Simpleton every once in awhile, especially when it comes to happiness. 

100 Things I Love:

  1. Vanilla soft serve froyo with sprinkles. Rainbow sprinkles, to be exact.
  2. Love stories.
  3. Movies that literally make me 
  4. Movies with Reese Witherspoon. Or Rachel McAdams. Or Jennifer Lawrence.
  5. Movies that make me cry.
  6. Chai tea lattes with soy milk - hot or iced.
  7. Blizzard Beach at Disney World.
  8. Margaritas.
  9. Spicy margaritas.
  10. Champagne.
  11. Emails containing good news.
  12. Paper invitations.
  13. Sparkly anything (as long as it's tasteful).
  14. "How we met" stories.
  15. Learning about the brain.
  16. Perfectly straightened photos.
  17. Neutral nail polish.
  18. Girls nights.
  19. A fresh, new journal.
  20. A jam packed planner.
  21. Pho dates with my mom.
  22. Taylor Swift.
  23. Unexpected compliments.
  24. My perfect pooches.
  25. Hot dogs at Rays games.
  26. The OC.
  27. Grey's Anatomy.
  28. Reconnecting with old friends.
  29. That post-workout endorphin rush.
  30. Salt water.
  31. Getting lost in a new book.
  32. Ryan Patrick Fredericks.
  33. Thai food.
  34. Clothes that fit just right.
  35. Good pens.
  36. New school supplies.
  37. Feeling appreciated.
  38. Basil.
  39. Christmas time.
  40. Actually, the holiday season in general.
  41. California.
  42. Rustic furniture.
  43. Planning vacations.
  44. Weddings. And helping my best friends plan their weddings.
  45. A cup of hot tea.
  46. Giving heart felt advice.
  47. Poodles. Poodle mixes. Poodle anything.
  48. Banana cupcakes.
  49. Cream cheese frosting.
  50. Celebrating.
  51. Beach days.
  52. Remembering to take photos when I'm out with friends.
  53. Hot baths.
  54. Watermelon gum.
  55. Instagram (whoops, guilty).
  56. Candles.
  57. USF football tailgates.
  58. Productive days.
  59. Family time.
  60. Making people laugh.
  61. Proving people wrong (only when necessary! ha.)
  62. Rare tuna.
  63. Watching Last Week Tonight with John Oliver with Ryan every week.
  64. Taco nights in.
  65. Double dates.
  66. Engagement rings (refer back to "sparkly anything").
  67. Swimming laps.
  68. Good morning kisses.
  69. Good night kisses. 
  70. Swedish Fish.
  71. Movies based off books.
  72. Hilary Duff.
  73. The comics section of the newspaper.
  74. Coffee dates.
  75. Getting dressed up for date night.
  76. When Ryan is dressed up for date night.
  77. Outdoor markets.
  78. Getting hooked on a new TV show.
  79. Making lists (clearly).
  80. "Me time."
  81. Horses.
  82. Brunch with mimosas.
  83. Sweater weather.
  84. Summer BBQs.
  85. Massages (even though I've never had a professional one! It's on my to-do...).
  86. Taking off my bra at the end of a long night.
  87. Putting money into my savings account.
  88. Old, comfortable t-shirts.
  89. Getting A's.
  90. Packages in the mail.
  91. HBO's Girls.
  92. Making plans.
  93. Coming home from a busy day to a clean apartment.
  94. Random snuggle sessions with Ryan + the pooches.
  95. Cards Against Humanity.
  96. Cute mugs.
  97. Funny YouTube videos.
  98. Traveling on airplanes.
  99. Traveling anywhere, any how, period.
  100. When someone tells me they love my blog ;)
Happy Friday, everyone!



Tuesday, May 17, 2016

How You Know You've Found "The One" | Vacation Edition.



Not to worry, I'm not going too cheesy on you here.

Summer classes have begun, and it feels like it's been a lifetime since our trip to Asheville last weekend. Alas, back to the flat lands and PowerPoint presentations. Such a glamorous life I lead!

Not that there's ever been a doubt in my mind, but I'm pretty sure this trip solidified that Ryan is most definitely the one for me. He calms my crazy, keeps my negativity in check, and monitors my frozen yogurt addiction. I hate to sound "basic," but truth be told, I can be "a lot to handle," and he keeps me in check. After this trip, he definitely takes the cake for the absolute best travel (and life) partner ever because:


- Between Friday at 5 a.m. and Tuesday at 5 p.m., we were together for more than 96 hours straight. Side by side, one hundred percent attached at the hip, and not a single argument was ignited. 

- Even when a seven minute back to our Air BnB turned into an extra 20 minutes down a random highway after a missed exit. 

- Even when he blatantly did not listen to me say that we need to go straight, as he proceeds to take the righthand exit..."No, Ryan, go straight...STRAIGHT. WHY ARE YOU TURNING RIGHT...ok, well, now Siri wants us to turn back around so we can continue to go straight." 

- He drove the 10 hours from Tampa to Asheville (and back) all by himself. I passed out for about six to seven of those hours both ways, and he never complained once.

- He made us pull over at every single inlet on the Blue Ridge Parkway to get every angle of the mountains with my Nikon...like the one of him jumping in the air like a Jack in the Box. 

- He's always game to go wherever, to eat whatever, to leave whenever. Unlike me, who needs to spend two hours making sure we pick the best restaurant to eat a casual lunch.

- We are 100% comfortable with silence. On a trip where rest and relaxation was at the forefront of my mind, being able to be happily alone with our thoughts (while together) is huge. 



At the risk of getting cheesy, my best "love" advice I can give to anyone is to find someone who thinks fighting is a waste of breath; who believes your quirks to be endearing; who will pull over nearly six times on a ten hour road trip home because you have a bladder infection and his biggest complaint is: "I just wish there was something I could do to make you feel better." Even though sometimes I want to smack him upside the head, I know that I am one lucky girl.

And to think I met him at a bar (insert hair flip emoji here). 








Thursday, May 12, 2016

Our Trip to Asheville | Recap!

It's like I blinked and we're already back from our trip to Asheville, North Carolina. And what a trip it was! If you aren't following me on Instagram, you can check out a few of my snapshots here. From waterfalls to mountain ranges, rooftop bars to the Biltmore estate, we just about took over that little town.

To be 100% honest, I didn't fall in love with Asheville (as a town) the way I thought I would. Maybe I was expecting it to be a little more Savannah-esque? Alas, we had a wonderful time, and it was exactly what I needed after a long, intensive year of studying and graduate school applications. I was so desperately craving an outdoor adventure when Ryan and I booked our trip back in February, and that's what we got!

We hiked through DuPont State Forest (where The Hunger Games was filmed!), made a few pit stops throughout Pisgah National Forest, and drove along the Blue Ridge Parkway. We drank our way through Sierra Nevada's east coast brewery, and I've gotta say, I was impressed. And of course, we visited the Biltmore Estate. It was a full and beautiful trip, and I miss being in "vacation mode" already!

While I love traveling (and this was our first real trip in a year!), there's definitely something to be said about having a happy home to come back to. We missed our pups, and I missed routine. We both missed not spending money on almost every single meal. I can't wait to start planning our next trip, but in the mean time, it's good to be home.

I'll be updating in the next few weeks with my Nikon pictures and where we stayed/ate/went, but in the meantime, here's a few more snapshots. Missing the mountains already!










Thursday, May 5, 2016

Summer 2016 Goal | Reconnecting with Old Hobbies.

Just like that, we're five months into the year, and I am three hours out of my spring semester. Yep - finals are over, I'm accepted to graduate school, and all there is to do is to (im)patiently wait for my grades.

I'd like to tell you that I'm going to be spending the summer relaxing, unwinding, and enjoying myself before starting the next two crazy years of grad school come August. Unfortunately, I'll be taking neuroanatomy and conceptual physics for the next two months of summer, so any semblance of a break is out the window.

That said, I want to be more intentional with my time this summer. Because I've been so busy, I've dropped a lot of my hobbies by the wayside, and you know what they say: life's too short. Now that I'll be taking classes just two days a week instead of four, I plan to pick a few back up to keep myself productive and sane:


Reading. 

It's been a long time since I've gotten really lost in a good book, and I miss it. I'll admit, I've exchanged the written word for Instagram, and it has to stop. Right now I'm a little more than halfway through The Lovely Bones, and then I want to start Me Before You by Jojo Moyes right after. Any recommendations?

Working out.

This is one hobby that actually hasn't taken a back seat this semester, but I want to keep it up. I plan on intensifying my workouts, eating a little cleaner, and drinking more water.

Blogging.

 I want to put time and thought into more meaningful posts; from setting up mini shoots with my Nikon to finally finding a new Blogger template, I want to give my little corner of the internet the TLC it deserves.

Baking.

 I used to bake all the time, and I think I miss it more than I realize. While it may not be great for my waistline, I love bringing treats to my family and coworkers. I also love eating said treats, so...like I said, not great for my waistline.

DIYing. 

I spent nearly $100 on crates and wood stain way back in September in hopes to make a Pinterest worthy book shelf. Flash forward to now: I have two out of six crates completed. Whoops. I need to get those creative juices flowing again.

Painting.

Speaking of creative outlets, there's nothing more therapeutic for me than painting. I started painting in high school and really fell in love with it, but I hardly do it at all anymore. I even have an easel at home that hasn't been touched in years! No excuses, just laziness/not making it a priority.

Journaling.

I've kept a personal, hand written journal for as long as I can remember. Somewhere deep in my parents attic, I still have my very first diary. It's blue with Garfield the cat plastered across the front...definitely classic. While I love keeping a blog, there are just some thoughts that need to be hand written for yourself and no one else. It keeps me grounded and "in tune" with my feelings.


Anything hobbies you're picking back up over the summer?





















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